Tightening the (Money)Belt

part of the BootsnAll Indie Travel Challenge Project

Find one major expense to cut from your daily life. How much can you save for travel by cutting it? How many other expenses (large or small) could you reduce in order to put that money toward travel?

before we begin, i just have to say that i have, believe it or not, cut my starbucks habit down by 90%. rather than go once or twice a day, i go at most once every week and a half or so. (let’s conveniently forget that i have picked up a dunkin’ donuts habit ever since i’ve started going back east for work, but that comes in at a fraction of the cost of the mermaid.)

hmm. brainstorming here, what can i cut. what. can. i cut.

possibilities:

  • fast food? it’s definitely healthier if i cook for myself…if i spent $100 on groceries for two weeks (my share between me and the bf) versus spending perhaps almost that much per week on fast food meals…wow. my cholesterol would be happier too, i’m sure. i just know, though, that i’m too lazy to cook. i’ve/we’ve tried this before and easily slipped right back into the mcd’s habit.
  • gadgets? yes, i have tons of gadgets i don’t use (i should probably even just sell them back, come to think of it). i think i’ll estimate that last year, i spent $1,000? that seems like a fair amount, but i also think 2011 was unusually spendy.
  • coffee? wait, so i’d have to give up my tassimo? i have actually been toying with the idea lately, given how upset i am that all my favorite t-discs are out of stock due to the recall and they clearly have supply chain problems, but that’s another story for another day (and another blog). i spend maybe $50 a month on t-discs? i could switch to a french press or something…

not gonna happen:

  • car? ha, i’d love to be able to cut this out, but in suburban california, that’s highly unlikely.
  • internet? cell phone? (not like these are even on the table, but for the sake of being complete) luckily work pays for these.
  • cable? nope, the significant other would be significantly displeased.

the winner: clothes/shoes

this actually popped into my head soon after i thought of the coffee idea (my first instinct). i’m sure if any friends are reading this, it was the first thing they thought of. i have way too many jeans, t-shirts, and shoes (pretty much what i wear every day; i don’t dress up, i’m a simple man). the main problem isn’t the existing size of my wardrobe, it’s that i can’t stop buying, especially when i see a SALE sign. i’m not going to count, but suffice it to say that it’s gotten to the point that at the beginning of 2011 (or was it 2010?) my new year’s resolution was to not buy any clothes or shoes that year. i think that lasted all of a handful of weeks.

it’s not that i spend an insane amount, maybe $500-$600 a year, but it’s very clearly money that does not need to be spent. my clothes are not worn out, they are not going out of style (at least i don’t think?)…i just have a bad spending habit every time i come across a sale and the fact of the matter is, my closet is overflowing as it is.

the tally

assuming i make the changes listed above, i estimate i can save annually:

Fast Food conservatively, $150/mo = $1,800
Gadgets let’s say i buy half = $500
Coffee if i brew it myself, buying just the grounds ($10/mo? i’ve never checked prices) is a savings of $480
Clothes $500

the total: $3,280

wow. that would be one heckuva nice trip.

*gears turning*

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